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Use Search Queries As A Basis To Derive New Keywords And Negatives

Oct 9, 2007
To start off, let's talk about what the ideal strategy would be or what the ideal tool would look like for creating new keywords and negatives. I, personally, would love a tool that could recommend a keyword to me and accurately tell me what the ROI on that keyword is before I implement it. Wouldn't that be ideal?

Sorry, but that keyword tool doesn't exist. However, there are a few alternatives.

One alternative to being able to confidently create profitable new keywords or negatives is to capture the exact search string input by the user. So, when using the search query, what I'm talking about is not taking a look at which keyword received credit for a click, but what did the user actually type in to the query. If you have a broad or a phrase match keyword, often times the keyword used will not exactly match the phrase typed in by the user.

Here's an example of how this can work. Someone went to a search engine and typed in "50 inch flat screen TV". The search engine chose to show your ad for "flat screen" because you have it as a broad match, and this person clicked on your ad and made a purchase for $4700. Well, my thought is, wouldn't "50 inch flat screen TV" make a great keyword. It's already been proven to generate a sale and a profit. Therefore, we would recommend making a new keyword with a match type of exact match for "50 inch flat screen TV".

There are several advantages of doing this. First, you already know the keyword works because it's proven to generate a profitable sale. Second, when you have an exact match keyword, you generally pay a cheaper price than paying for "flat screen" under broad match. The third advantage is that Google works this into their quality score to determine if you have exactly what the user was looking for or close to it. If you have exactly what they were looking for, that's going to help your quality score, which is also going to help your ad position. Lastly, it's just much more targeted. You're targeting exactly what that user is looking for because they don't want a 42 inch, they want a 50 inch. By having your ad text detailed enough to say so, this allows you to be much more targeted to the user that is looking for a specific product or service.

Let's move on and talk about how this same technique can be used to generate negative keywords. For negative keywords, I can not emphasize enough how important they are for your campaigns. We have turned many client campaigns around that were under performing just by the use of negative keywords and our ability to see exactly what the user's typing in to the search query. Let's say we have a search query where the person typed "flat screen computer monitor" and this company has the same broad match keyword for "flat screen." The search engine showed their ad, but they didn't receive any conversions.

Why did this happen?

Simple- they don't sell computer monitors, they only sell TVs. Therefore, we would recommend they create a negative keyword for not only the word "computer", but also the word "monitor." What are the advantages here? Again, you're going to target the right audience and, most importantly, you're not going to pay for clicks that have no chance to convert into a sale. You are helping to protect and optimize your advertising investment. You're making sure that people aren't clicking on your ad that you can't effectively service, while ensuring that shoppers you can service are provided with exactly what they are looking for.
About the Author
Adam is the Chief Revenue Office at ClearSaleing. He is a seasoned sales manager starting insides sales teams at Google and Actuate Software. Adam holds a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from The Ohio State University. ClearSaleing
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